Timothy C. Hain, MD. • Page last modified: August 22, 2020
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As is the case for acupuncture in most other contexts, the scientific literature suggests a modest effect, close to placebo. Acupressure, in particular, such as the "Sea Band", or "Relief Band", seems to be identical to placebo. More vigorous procedures, such as electroacupuncture have more reports of good response.
It seems possible (though unestablished), that an electrical stimulator such as a TENS unit might be helpful in preventing motion sickness.
Overall, we think that acupuncture has a small role in prevention of motion sickness. Other treatment methods are far more effective.
Acupressure is simply use of pressure rather than a needle or a shock applied at an acupuncture point. Most papers studying these devices say that they are placebos.
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